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Making a claim for housing / council tax benefit

Last Modified April 06, 2018

Making a claim for assistance with housing costs and council tax



If you are on a low income and are renting your home, either from a private landlord or from a housing association, you may be able to get help with your rent through either Universal Credit or Housing Benefit; and council tax by making a claim for Council Tax Support.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are claimed from Hertsmere Borough Council, Universal Credit is claimed from the Job Centre.


DO NOT DELAY MAKING A CLAIM. When you realise you need assistance with your rent or council tax make a claim straight away even if you do not have all of the evidence you need to support the claim. Awards will usually start from the Monday after the date the form is received in the relevant office. 

Housing Costs

In the coming years, new claims for assistance with rental costs for Housing Costs will be gradually transferred from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit.

- If you live in any of the following postcodes, and are of working age, you must claim Universal Credit rather than Housing Benefit unless you have more than two children or live in supported accommodation or temporay accommodation in which case you must claim Housing Benefit:

AL2 1, AL2 2, AL4 0, WD19, WD23, WD25, EN6

- If you do not live in one these postcodes you must claim Housing Benefit for assistance with your rent.

If you are not sure if you should make a claim for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you can check your eligibility at www.gov.uk/universalcredit.


Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support must be claimed separately from Universal Credit, by application to us. If you are making a claim for Housing Benefit, you will be making a claim for Council Tax Support on the same form.

Making a claim

Housing-Benefit-formIf you think you may be entitled to our Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you must make a claim without delay. This is because your benefit will normally start from the Monday after the date on which we receive your claim form.

To make a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support you must first complete a simple calculator to work out if it is likely you will be entitled. At the end of the calculator, any details you have entered will be transferred over to the main application form if you wish to progress.

Please carefully read the instructions about making your claim, and make a note of your reference. You will need the reference to be able to retrieve the form should you need to.

Please note: If you are a tenant of a Housing Association, you must make your claim on this basis rather than as a Council Tenant.

When you have completed the form, select the 'show errors' option. If there are any errors or there is information missing from the form, you will be asked to rectify this before you are allowed to submit the form.

You will be given confirmation of successfully submitting a form. Please make sure you have clearly seen the confirmation on screen that the form has been submitted. You will also receive an email to tell you the form has been successfully submitted. If you have not seen confirmation on screen or received an email to tell you that the form has been submitted, please go back to 'Show Errors' and rectify anything you need to before submitting the form.


Please click here to start.


If you have saved a partially completed form, please click here to enter your reference number and retrieve your form. The reference is case-sensitive.

Evidence and information

In support of your claim, you will need to provide supporting evidence.

If you are completing the online application, you will be given a list of what you must provide at the end of the application. If you are completing a handwritten form, there is a list of what you must provide at the end of the form.

Any supporting evidence you have been asked for must be submitted to our department at the Civic Offices.  

Should we need any more evidence or information from you, we will write to you.

If you are unsure of what you need to provide, do not delay in submitting you application. You can contact us after you have made your claim about supporting evidence.

Second adult rebate

If you do not have a partner but there are other people living in your household on a low income and as a result of these people you do not qualify for a single person discount on your council tax, you may qualify for second adult rebate. Second adult rebate is not based upon your circumstances, it is based upon the circumstances of the other people in the house, and it can reduce your council tax bill by up to 25%.

You can apply using the normal housing and council tax benefit claim form, although you will only need to complete sections 1, 3, 13 and 15 and we will only need to see proof of your National Insurance number and the income of the other people who live with you.  

You cannot claim second adult rebate if you are married or have a partner.


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